Is it 2003 again? Well, to Pharrell fans around the world it has sure felt that way this past year.
Pharrell Williams, half of super-producer group The Neptunes, is renowned as one of the greatest producers of all-time, working with artists from Jay-Z to Britney Spears.
Using his signature sound, Pharrell and Chad Hugo, the other half of the The Neptunes, have been a staple in music for more than 15 years. In spite of his longevity in music, recently it has seemed like there's been a musical shift where Pharrell hasn't played as much of a role in the business.
Making appearances on new classics such as Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" and Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city," it is safe to say that Pharrell stayed busy, but it was clear the overall sound of music, or at least popular music, had changed.
This was the case until 2013, when early in the year it became rumored that not only was legendary House music group Daft Punk making a comeback, but Pharrell would be making a major contribution to it.
Then around midyear, Daft Punk unleashed their first single "Get Lucky," a disco-inspired track that featured Pharrell as producer as well as lead singer on the song. The song ended up becoming the feel-good song of the summer, eventually peaking at No. 2 on the charts for a number of weeks and solidifying Pharrell as a face of mainstream music.
The song that helped keep "Get Lucky" from topping the charts was, ironically, another Pharrell product as well – "Blurred Lines." Robin Thicke's single was produced by and featured Pharrell and eventually became not only the biggest song of the summer but also of the year.
"Blurred Lines," an infectious summer song that gives its listeners flashbacks to the works of Marvin Gaye, was sparked by its video to become the number one song in the country for an astounding 12 weeks. The song proved to be the biggest song of the year by far but also one of the biggest songs in Pharell's illustrious career.
A major instigator of Pharrell's renewed success can be traced to his earlier career, where he found a balance between not only producing hits but also tracks that formed the sound of great albums.
From tracks such as "Oceans" from Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" to "Objects In the Mirror" on Mac Miller's "Watching Movies with the Sound Off," it is obvious these songs will never be big hits, but without them, the albums would have no backbone. Not to mention, Pharrell also played a major part in the modeling of the most talked-about artist in the world, Miley Cyrus, and her new album "Bangerz."
Although Cyrus found her groove with producer Mike Will Made It, who eventually took the lead role as executive producer of the album, it was Pharrell who conducted the first recording sessions of the album and helped to craft her post-Disney Channel sound. His production is also featured on two of the standout tracks on "Bangerz" in the form of "4x4" and "#GETITRIGHT."
Music is always going through cycles, but now it seems now as though it is back to being Pharrell's turn.
Cell Waller III is a sophomore in sports management. He can be reached at email@example.com.